In this video, This Old House host Kevin O’Connor shows how to keep the electricity flowing during outages by installing a transfer switch for a portable generator.
1. Mount the transfer switch to wall beside the existing main electrical panel.
2. Turn off the power to the house at the main electrical panel, and connect the wires coming from the transfer switch to the breakers in the main panel.
3. From outside, drill a 1½-inch-diameter hole through the house wall.
4. Screw the electrical box that comes with the transfer switch to the house wall directly over the hole.
5. Run an electrical cable from the box to the transfer switch.
6. At the outdoors box, connect the cable to the electrical receptacle that comes with the transfer switch. Screw the receptacle to the box.
7. Move back inside and connect the receptacle cable to the transfer switch.
8. Test your work by first starting up the portable generator. And with the power to the house still turned off at the main electrical panel, plug the generator into the outdoor receptacle.
9. Flip the switches on the transfer switch from Line to Generator. Check to see if the generator is delivering power to the selected circuits.
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